436th AW introduces White Rope program to strengthen resilience

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Amanda Jett
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – The 436th Airlift Wing Chapel is introducing a new White Rope program in December 2022 to help strengthen Airmen’s resilience at Dover Air Force Base.

The program aims to provide ethical, spiritual and emotional leaders that can assist wingmen in times of stress. The leaders, or ropes, will be trained to handle difficult conversations and will have tools to help intervene during a crisis, further extending the reach of chaplains.

“Maybe you don’t relate to a particular chaplain, that’s okay. Go talk to your White Rope,” explains Chaplain (1st Lt.) Rebecca Pettit, 436th AW chaplain. “Talk about what you’re going through and get that support.”

The White Rope program encourages Airmen to find support in each other while highlighting the importance of Comprehensive Airman Fitness. Finding a balance between the four pillars of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual fitness helps develop resilient, multi-capable Airmen who are ready for the future fight.

“When we have multi-capable Airmen who are resilient in all four pillars of CAF, we have the upper edge in any conflict we go into,” Pettit said. “The thing that will set us apart [in future conflicts] are the Airmen having that spiritual fitness, that spiritual resiliency.”

The White Rope volunteers will be made up of 25 diverse individuals from a wide range of ranks and squadrons. The ropes will consist of motivated individuals, eager to help and give back to their peers, according to Tech. Sgt. Nancy Niles, 436th AW Religious Affairs Airman.

“We are excited to get started because there are always Airmen that need extra support,” said Niles. “This is a great program to remind others [that] we’re here, we’re present and we’re ready to help anyone in need.”